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Prev Med ; : 106863, 2021 Nov 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510415


Stressors associated with COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home orders are associated with increased depression and anxiety and decreased physical activity. Given that physical activity and time spent outdoors in nature are associated with improved mental health, we examined the longitudinal association of these variables during the pandemic. Over 20,000 adults who participated in the U.S. Kaiser Permanente Research Bank, did not report COVID-19 symptoms, and responded to an online baseline and 3 follow-up surveys over approximately 3 months formed the cohort. Physical activity was assessed from a modified survey, time spent outdoors was assessed from one question, and anxiety and depression scores were assessed from validated instruments. Almost 60% were women, 82.8% were non-Hispanic white, and more than 93% of respondents were over the age of 50. Less in-person contact with friends and visiting crowded places was highly prevalent (>80%) initially and decreased somewhat (>70%). Participants in the lowest physical activity category (no physical activity) had the highest depression and anxiety scores compared to each successive physical activity category (p < 0.001). Spending less time outdoors was associated with higher depression and anxiety scores. This effect was greater for participants in the younger age categories compared with older age categories. The effect of less time spent outdoors on anxiety (p = 0.012) and depression (p < 0.001) scores was smaller for males than females. Results suggest that physical activity and time outdoors is associated with better mental health. People should be encouraged to continue physical activity participation during public health emergencies.

Br J Sports Med ; 55(19): 1099-1105, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1325094


OBJECTIVES: To compare hospitalisation rates, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions and mortality for patients with COVID-19 who were consistently inactive, doing some activity or consistently meeting physical activity guidelines. METHODS: We identified 48 440 adult patients with a COVID-19 diagnosis from 1 January 2020 to 21 October 2020, with at least three exercise vital sign measurements from 19 March 2018 to 18 March 2020. We linked each patient's self-reported physical activity category (consistently inactive=0-10 min/week, some activity=11-149 min/week, consistently meeting guidelines=150+ min/week) to the risk of hospitalisation, ICU admission and death after COVID-19 diagnosis. We conducted multivariable logistic regression controlling for demographics and known risk factors to assess whether inactivity was associated with COVID-19 outcomes. RESULTS: Patients with COVID-19 who were consistently inactive had a greater risk of hospitalisation (OR 2.26; 95% CI 1.81 to 2.83), admission to the ICU (OR 1.73; 95% CI 1.18 to 2.55) and death (OR 2.49; 95% CI 1.33 to 4.67) due to COVID-19 than patients who were consistently meeting physical activity guidelines. Patients who were consistently inactive also had a greater risk of hospitalisation (OR 1.20; 95% CI 1.10 to 1.32), admission to the ICU (OR 1.10; 95% CI 0.93 to 1.29) and death (OR 1.32; 95% CI 1.09 to 1.60) due to COVID-19 than patients who were doing some physical activity. CONCLUSIONS: Consistently meeting physical activity guidelines was strongly associated with a reduced risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes among infected adults. We recommend efforts to promote physical activity be prioritised by public health agencies and incorporated into routine medical care.

COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Intensive Care Units , Sedentary Behavior , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2
Prev Med Rep ; 23: 101449, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1267887


Adherence to guidelines for face coverings and physical distancing are critical strategies to stem the COVID-19 pandemic but are not uniformly followed. Understanding factors associated with adherence to mask-wearing and physical distancing may help guide future control efforts. We conducted an observational study using Systematic Observation of Mask Adherence and Distancing (SOMAD) in August 2020 in parks, playgrounds and commercial streets in each of 10 City Council Districts in Philadelphia, PA. Wearing a mask correctly varied by setting with highest adherence in commercial areas and lowest in playgrounds. Almost 17% wore visible masks that did not cover the nose and/or mouth. There were multiple disparities in correct mask use. Females had higher rates than males (unadjusted relative risk = 1.40, p < .0001) and seniors higher than any other age group (unadjusted chi-square p < .0001). Asians wore masks correctly the most often [adjusted log odds ratio (LOR) = 0.53 compared with non-Hispanic white, p = 0.02]. Correct mask-wearing was higher in areas with a higher population density (adjusted LOR = 0.03 per one thousand/square mile, p = 0.02) and lower in higher poverty areas (adjusted LOR = -0.01, p = .03). Disparities in adherence to mask wearing and physical distancing likely reflect differences in perception of risk by gender, age group, and race/ethnicity. While the risk of COVID-19 transmission is lower in outdoor settings, it is unlikely to be zero. The lower rates of mask use by males and minority groups suggest increased efforts are needed to enhance adherence to recommended guidelines.